A Real Med Student

Today I felt like a real med student.

I actually interacted with real patients, with real problems in a real hospital. Really.

For better or worse, our school does not facilitate clinical opportunities for med students in the first year. We practice talking with patient’s a lot, but they are just actors. And honestly, we are mostly clueless when it comes to medicine so I understand why it’s not a big priority to get us clinical experience in the first year.

But today was different for me. I shadowed a hospitalist at the local children’s hospital. This was not a required thing, just an opportunity offered that I thought would be interesting.

I was expecting to just follow the physician around, so I was a little surprised when she asked me, “Do you know how to take a history?”

“Oh… yeah.”

I don’t think I came across entirely confident so she gave me a brief run-down of what she was looking for. It was all stuff I had learned, and actually had a bit of experience watching it done back when I was an ER Scribe.

Anyway, I took histories from two families about their sick kids. I think it went pretty well. I was a little more awkward on the first interview as I paused a few times to think of my next question. The second flowed more smoothly and I thought was more complete.

When I finished my first report, the physician said, “ That was very thorough and will be helpful for me. Nice work, thank you.”

Wahoo! Ok, maybe she was just being nice knowing I’m just a first year. But let’s say not for the sake of my ego.

It was a ton of fun and a great change of pace from the lectures and exams that dominate this first year. I’m looking forward to doing it again.

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